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Lunch at or near Omni Shoreham?

I'll be meeting a friend at the Omni on a Saturday afternoon. We're looking for a lunch place that's a very short walking distance (within a couple of blocks) of the Omni, or possibly within the Omni itself (if they have such a place). The walking distance issue is not negotiable (no driving, no Metro, no taxis, no long hikes).

And it needs to be a place that has non-spicy options. Things like grilled cheese sandwiches would be good. Soups would be a plus. We just need a place where we can comfortably sit and chat while we eat.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I think Open City is exactly what you are looking for: very close, and they have soup and grilled cheese. Do I think it's one of the better places around? Certainly not. The food quality is very ordinary, but it meets your criteria.

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    Open City
    2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

    2 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Yes, it's what just what OP described, and would be perfect I think (and totally agree with your description woodley) -- BUT on Saturdays the wait can be really really long for the brunch crowd, right? Or is it not so bad at this time of year? One of them could go down (from the hotel, it's close enough for that) a little early to put their names on the list, or they could hover for a bar seat which is what we usually do, but that can be a little stressful.

      1. re: mselectra

        Yes, Open City sounds like exactly what you're looking for.

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        Open City
        2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

    2. Woodley Cafe about 2 blocks away on Connecticut http://www.woodleycafeonline.com/

      Nothing fancy but may be less of a wait than Open City and a bit quieter

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      Open City
      2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

      1. BTW - huge hotel - has restaurant options "in house" though can't say what they are like - see their website
        http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/...

        1. Right across the street is Open CIty which has exactly what you are looking for. There is likely going to be quite a wait though because it's very popular on a Saturday.

          Another option (a short walk up Connecticut) is Petit Plats. I don't know if they have grilled cheese but they do have good soups. It's a cozy french bistro. Their lunch menu has sandwiches, salads, roast chicken etc. A nice option in the area.

          I personally would not go to Woodley Cafe. I use to live in that area and that place is just awful---especially the service.

          1 Reply
          1. http://www.chow.com/search?query=omni...

            turns up many threads that discuss the options near the Omni quite thoroughly.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sweth

              Thanks for all of the responses. I really don't want to go to a place that's likely to be crowded and have a long wait. I'm meeting a friend I haven't seen in over 30 years, so we need someplace where we can linger, and that's not too noisy, so we can chat.

              I did search several other threads, but the restaurants discussed were either too far away, too fancy, and/or too expensive. I'm currently unemployed, so I can't go crazy with the moolah.

              I was hoping there'd be some simple sandwich joint near the Omni, but maybe it's too upscale an area to have places like that. I fear I may be out of luck. I'm not even finding a Panera, Cosi, or Au Bon Pain in the area.

              I wonder if there's a bar nearby that would work ... a quiet one that has a sandwich menu ...

              1. re: Mallomar

                There's Murphy's Irish Pub: http://www.murphysofdc.com/menus.php

                There is also a McDonald's and a Chipotle.

                1. re: Mallomar

                  I was thinking Murphy's Pub might work, too, but haven't been there in years -- it's really close. There's a Chipotle right there, the corner of Calvert and Connecticut, if that would do? Also, on the block just north of Calvert on Connecticut, across from the metro (next to the BofA), is a casual sandwich place, order at the cash register, I think Cafe International is the name. Haven't been there in a long time, but I used to read/study there and they would be playing classical music and seemed like nice people, quiet place to hang out, might work for you?

                  ETA: sorry, I missed that woodleyparkhound also mentioned the Chipotle.
                  Also, it's really not an upscale neighborhood, and there are lots of restaurants (not fancy ones) along that block (thai, indian, aforementioned mcd's -- I think most of them just aren't considered very good, so don't show up on CH.

                  One more edit -- you'll walk by Open City going to any of these other places, so you could check there first to see if there's a long wait or not.

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                  Cafe International
                  2633 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

                  1. re: Mallomar

                    If you don't care what the food is like than Woodley Cafe is perfect.

                    There is also a decent sandwich/coffee shop on CT across from your hotel (next to the Bank of America ATM, across from the ATM) that could work...sorry I can't remember the name of the place. It's a small sandwich/bagel/coffee shop with tables.

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                    Bank of America Cafe
                    11333 McCormick Rd, Hunt Valley, MD 21031

                2. Consider walking down to Tryst on 18th Street - it's a nicer coffee house with sofas and tables and all that, and they generally don't care how long you stay at all. The coffee is very good, and I've enjoyed the food I've tried there (sandwiches).

                  Otherwise, that area is pretty boring outside of Open City. I don't believe Open City will care how long you're there and this time of year, it's not that crowded on a Saturday (compared to the high tourist season)

                  Or, consider getting something to go and enjoying a coffee/light food in the lobby of the Omni. It's a nice lobby! They probably have a relatively comfortable cafe. I know in the marriott across the street they have lovely room to sit and talk.

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                  Open City
                  2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jeserf

                    Tryst is going to be just as crowded on a Saturday as Open City.

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                    Open City
                    2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      maybe, but I never found either of them that crowded during the winter but I don't go THAT often

                    2. re: Jeserf

                      Thanks again for all of the suggestions. There were a lot of good options (the hotel was closer to the metro and restaurants than I thought), but as it turned out, my friend didn't want to leave the hotel -- or her room, for that matter. We ended up ordering room service. The food was better than I expected, but of course it was pricey. It think it was $13 for a grilled cheese sandwich.